V A S T Y    H O U S E S                            2001/04/05
  a bibliography

 This is a list of stories (novels, short stories) that feature
 houses (or similar things) whose interiors are vast, or even
 infinite.  The archetype is that dream (you know, that dream)
 where you find a door in your house where there never used to
 be one, and beyond it you find room after mysterious (or
 familiar, or terrfiying) room.

 This list is not comprehensive, but it would like to be, so if
 you know of any qualifying stories that aren't here, drop a line
 to "houses@theogeny.com".

 The current and official version of this file lives on the Web,
 at "http://www.davidchess.com/words/vh_bib.html".

 Someday maybe we'll do this up as a fully databasized Web app,
 so you can view subsets of it in different orders, get it in
 XML form via SOAP calls, and so on and so on.  In the meantime,
 what you see is what you get.

 The format of the entries is mostly self-explanatory.  The
 "relevance" value has roughly these meanings:

  5 - a vast or infinite house, or something sufficiently
      like that, forms a major part of the story.
  4 - something that is probably a vast or infinite house,
      or something like that, appears non-majorly in the story.
  3 - a house or something that is at least larger inside
      than you'd expect appears in the story.
  2 - a house or something that contains a door or something
      that leads somewhere distant or unexpected appears.
  1 - something else vaguely the same flavor appears.
  0 - why is this story listed here at all?
  ? - we don't know enough about this story yet to give it
      a relevance number; someone please fill us in!

 If a story fits more than one description, it gets the
 higher number.  So Stoddard's High House is both vast itself,
 and leads to exotic places; it gets a 5.  The house in Lewis'
 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe merely leads to (it
 does not contain) Narnia; it gets a 2.

 The stories we're most interested in for the list here
 are the 4's and 5's.

 The list follows, in alphabetical order by author or something.


 Dr. Who
  by ?various
  a brand; relevance 3                      Added: 2001/01/27
  The Tardis is Dr. Who's transport device.  From the outside
  it appears to be a British telephone box or something; on
  the inside it is a multi-room spaceship-like thing which
  can take one all over space and time.

 The Bridge                                 Added: 2001/01/27
  by Iain Banks
  a novel; relevance 5
  The eponymous Bridge is a vast structure with lost
  libraries, mysterious elevators, corridors both teeming
  and empty, and (for awhile) no visible endpoints.  Also

 The Library of Babel                       Added: 2001/01/27
  by Jorges Luis Borges
  a short story; relevance 5
  The library is vast, regular in the arrangement of its
  hexagons, but chaotic and opaque in the arrangement of
  its books.

 Parable of the Palace                      Added: 2001/01/27
  by Jorges Luis Borges
  a short short story: relevance 5
  "They wandered next through antechambers and courtyards
  and libraries, and then through a hexagonal room with a
  waterclock, and one morning, from a tower, they made out a
  man of stone, whom later they lost sight of forever.  In
  canoes hewn from sandalwood, they crossed many gleaming
  rivers -- or perhaps a single river many times...  Every
  hundred steps a tower cut the air; to the eye, their color
  was identical, but the first of them was yellow and the
  last was scarlet; that was how delicate the gradation was
  and how long the series."

 Little, Big
  by John Crowley                           Added: 2001/02/01
  a novel: relevance 4
  Or maybe 5; opinions are welcome!  The House in question
  is Edgewood, which is apparently both vast/infinite within,
  and leads to the realms of Faerie.  How key a role does the
  big, sprawling house play in this big, sprawling novel?

 House of Leaves
  by Mark Z. Danielewski                    Added: 2001/01/27
  a novel; relevance 5
  "A filmmaker and his family move into an old house. They
  return from a weekend trip to find a connecting hallway
  between two rooms that wasn't there before, and discover
  that the house is a half-inch larger on the inside than on
  the outside. And then a corridor into nowhere appears in the
  living room..." -- Brennan M. O'Keefe

 The Sandman
  by Neil Gaiman
  a series of graphic novels; relevance 4   Added: 2001/04/05
  In at least "Brief Lives", we find out that all the mazes,
  labyrinths, in the world are connected together; if you
  know how (or perhaps only if you're one of the Endless)
  you can journey through the Mystifying Maze in the local
  carnival, through strange labyrinths in other times and
  places, and finally into Destiny's garden.

 And He Built a Crooked House
  by Robert Heinlein
  a short story: relevance 3                Added: 2001/02/21
  The house is just eight times as big inside as it looks
  from the outside, because a tesseract has eight cubes.

 The Number of the Beast
  by Robert Heinlein
  a novel; relevance 2                      Added: 2001/01/27
  Or possibly relevance 3.  Is the "Gay Deceiver" merely
  connected to lots of other spaces, or is it also extra
  large inside?  Anyway, the "Gay Deceiver" is a car or
  spaceship or something that appears in a number of
  the later Heinlein novels, most prominently in this one.

 The House on the Borderland
  by William Hope Hodgson                   Added: 2001/01/29
  a novel: relevance 2
  "Granted, the house is a gateway and not a universal house,
  but it's really a good book." -- Kevin Meehan

 The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe      Added: 2001/01/27
  by C. S. Lewis
  a novel; relevance 2
  You can get to Narnia by going through the back of the
  wardrobe.  But Narnia isn't *in* the wardrobe.  Similarly
  for many of the other Narnia books.

 The Haunted Woman                          Added: 2001/02/06
  by David Lindsay
  a novel; relevance 5
  Well, probably 5.  It sort of depends on just what actually
  happens when Our Heroine goes up those mysterious stairs.

 Gormenghast                                Added: 2001/01/27
  by Mervyn Peake
  a series; relevance 5
  The vast sprawling edifice, castle, hive of Gormenghast, its
  kitchens and libraries and towers and roofs, figure prominently;
  the series is usually known by the name of the last book, which
  is also the name of the house.

 A Man Asleep                              Added: 2001/01/27
  by Georges Perec
  a novel; relevance ?
  This space available.

 Discworld                                 Added: 2001/01/27
  by Terry Pratchett
  a series; relevance 4
  All the libraries (in the universe?) are connected through
  L-Space.  Which seems like a really good idea.

 The High House
  by James Stoddard
  a novel; relevance 5                     Added: 2001/01/27
  The High House of the title seems to be an ordinary sprawling
  mansion from the outside, but various doors and ways inside
  lead to a vast (infinite?) complex of hallways, rooms,
  courtyards and towers, opening into distant worlds.  (A
  sequel, "The False House", should probably also be listed.)

 The Book of the New Sun
  by Gene Wolfe
  a series; relevance 4                     Added: 2001/01/27
  Two citadels with vast mazy interiors (The Citadel of the
  Torturers and the Citadel of the Autarch) show up in this
  four-novel cycle.  There are hints that although distant
  the two are connected, parts of some even vaster structure.